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Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) Paperback – February 27, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 2-3. In this lively offering from the Step into Reading + Math series, young readers will learn about both Benjamin Franklin and magic squares--square grids of numerals in which all the numbers in any vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row adds up to the same sum. The text introduces Franklin as a smart, curious kid whose ideas led him to "inventing cool things"; as a witty, intelligent man whose ideas were the seeds of America's first library, fire station, and hospital; and as a "super busy guy" who amused himself during meetings of the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly by creating magic squares. An appended section offers step-by-step directions for those who want to construct their own versions of the mathematical puzzle. The engaging, informal style of the writing and the colorful, cartoonlike illustrations make this a playful but solid choice for introducing young readers to Franklin and to magic squares. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"This book is...enjoyable and nutritious... classic literature in comic book form. Bravo! Bravo, Frank Murphy! Bravo, Richard Walz!" -- Daniel Pinkwater, Contentville.com, May 11, 2001
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Series: Step into Reading
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375806210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375806216
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a whimsical book that still adheres fairly close to facts about the muti-talented Benjamin Franklin. (Frank Murphy notes on the last page that Franklin really did have a pet squirrel, something that I thought was the author's invention). The book highlights Franklin's lifelong knack for inventions and chronicles his achievements as a publisher, sciencist, writer, and patriot. The book also introduces magic squares, showing how Frankinn invented one as he sat, bored, waiting to take notes for the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly. There's a good explanation of magic squares (a nine-cell table in which 3 numbers counted vertically, horizontally, or diagonally add to the same number), and instructions on how to make your own magic square. With 48 pages and colorful, evocative pictures, this book will appeal to the young reader, historian, and scientist.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Murphy has a way of bringing history "to life" with his wonderful and witty account of Ben Franklin's tale. This book is extremely well written and will captivate an audience of any age. The younger children will enjoy the illustrations, especially Ben's pet squirrel Skugg, and older children creating their own magic squares! The fun continues well after you are finished reading the book! I am eagerly awaiting Mr. Murphy's next books!! (and "just a tip"... look for Mr. Murphy's picture at the end of the story!)
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By A Customer on October 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Frank Murphy has done an amazing job of making history fun. This is a great story, tying together a well-known figure and a classic math puzzle. On top of that, the illustrations are filled with humor. There is plenty for the eye to hunt out. From top to bottom, this is a wonderful book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the book on Lincoln's hat and Washington and his dogs, I looked forward to this book. Unfortunately, someone made the decision to make it "cool" and the language is not what I'm teaching my son. Old Ben was many things, but I think the label "super smart" would make him roll over in his grave.
Into the Goodwill bin.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love these series. But most important that my son does. I order 20+ books and he loves to read them (usually it is not that easy to make him read). I got mix of 2-3-4 levels for the second grader, second level is too easy, but it creates some fun and he reads them with pleasure. Love it, I would recommend it.
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A Kid's Review on November 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
what other book can make math interesting? and funny? Mr. Murphy has done it once again with his fabulous work! A++++++++++++!

-Stephanie

Connecticut
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A Kid's Review on October 17, 2005
Format: School & Library Binding
I love this book! It introduced me to magic squares. Sometimes they're hard but not always. I read the book in 3rd grade. We were doing math groups and Mrs. Wrigely said" Today we are doing Magic squares."

What is a magic square?" I asked.

"It is 9 cubes that all have to equal the same number." Mrs. Wrigely

And that's how I was introduced to magic squares. I recommend this book for kids 6 and above. I think that because some words may be a little challenging for kids that are 5 or 4.

Mitchell S. 4th grade
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A Kid's Review on September 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was great for kid's teenagers and adults. What I'm trying to say is that this book is suitable for all ages. I think elementary teachers should read this to their students. This book is great to teach kids about the past and how inventions are still used today, in different ways. I learned how Ben Franklin invented most of the instruments we use today; like the stove, bifocals, flippers and many other inventions. I encourage you to buy this book if you have young kids or not.

Scott G(...)
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